Tis the Season to be Greedy: Exhumed

And so this is Christmas. Nearly. It might as well be. A sixty day orgy of sentimentality and consumerist foreplay designed to lubricate our minds and wallets ready for the shuddering anticlimax on the 25th. Happy birthday, Jesus. As I get older – and poorer – the whole thing revolts me more and more. More and more revolts me more and more. Eyebrow threading. Selfies. Shoes. Expensive, wanky restaurants. Dog shit. It’s all either puke makingly trivial in a world where people are being raped and slaughtered and tortured and starved or it’s just grimly, inconsiderately horrid in a Happy Shopper kind of way. All the while, we’re running around on our little hamster wheels looking at pictures of stupid people sticking their fucking tongues out or pouting or we’re reading another fucking meme extolling vapid, pseudo philosophical soul vomit as just the little stroke your poor, self righteous, wounded psyche needs on our phones and the rest of the world is being thrown from towerblocks and watching their children being hacked to pieces (really, I’m not making this up). It’s nonsense, surely? The bald fact is that there is more than enough in this world for everyone to have a decent life. We all know the loose statistics regarding what a tiny percentage of the world’s mindboggling population is greedily hoarding nearly all of the world’s resources. We all know that if we shared what we’ve got and played nicely everyone (apart from congenital sourpusses such as myself) would be a lot happier. And I’ve started to feel that every needless luxury I buy is another point scored for the wrong team. And I’m being quite rigorous about the term ‘needless luxury.’ Any item of clothing with a designer label. Snickers bars. Beer. A Nutri Ninja. A TV. Bookcases. Carpet. You get the idea. While other people are starving, why should any of us own a Playstation? Why should we own nearly all the shit we own? It might make the people with all the wealth and power a little bit less wealthy and powerful if we stopped giving them the minimum wage sweat from our not really making it brows for shit we don’t need. Shopping is now our national ritual – a global ritual for those lucky few of us able to engage. We are made whole, a part of the great, greedy elite community of never satisfied seekers after more pointless shit. And Christmas is the ultimate, annual cum shot after all those months of edging ourselves with little nibbles at the glittering, glistening delights with all their plastic and circuity and their fashionable goodness. I’d like to opt out of it entirely – but the rub is, I have a six year old son who I’m going to spend shitloads of money I can’t afford on, buying loads of pointless plastic shit for. It’s obscene. I’m going to be beginning the process of indoctrinating him into a church that, in the words of the completely exonerated and suitably seasonal Sir Cliff Richards, sort of, doesn’t ‘satisfy my soul’. It’s horrible. How do other parents deal with this? I don’t think a frank discussion about my increasingly tortured views on consumerism would go any way towards mitigating the abject despair he’d feel without at least a couple of fairly awesome toys. He’s already beginning to walk towards the hamster wheel – and I’m helping to lead him there. It’s like the Wicker Man but with my son and a hamster wheel. And I’m Britt Ekland. How did it come to this, and what do I do about it without turning into some kind of tosser from Viz’s Modern Parents? How do parents save their kids from getting caught up in this greedy, selfish bullshit and yet still wring some kind of magic out of Christmas? How best to bring a kid up to not be materialistic and yet not lead them to feel in some way ‘excluded’? I’m a grown-up, theoretically, so I can choose to opt out of being a fashionable, ‘normal’ part of consumerist society to whatever degree I chose – I can wear tatty old clothes so long as my knob’s not hanging out of them, and I don’t even know or need to know what would constitute fashionable footwear, but – it’s kind of different for kids, isn’t it? Feeling that you ‘fit in’ can be really important to a kid – and lots of adults I know still appear permanently traumatised by feeling they didn’t ‘fit in’ when they were children…and so much of fitting in as a young person nowadays revolves around conspicuous consumption, recorded for whatever passes for eternity on social media…whirrrrrrr. Click.

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